We are grateful to parents who have informed our school administration when they found out that their children had tested positive with COVID19. As of Friday March 19, we know that one (1) student at Barrhead Elementary School and five (5) students at Barrhead Composite High School have tested positive.
Families of students who are identified as ‘close contacts’ have been notified of the need to isolate.
Our schools are guided by provincial guidelines for all things related to the pandemic. School Re-Entry Guidance says this about school alert, outbreak and investigation definitions:
- If there is ONE confirmed case (student, staff member or visitor, with or without symptoms) in your school setting who was present at the school while infectious and/or most likely became infected at the school, the school will be on Alert (1) status.
- AHS will initiate an investigation once there are TWO or more confirmed cases in the school setting (student, staff member or visitor) within a 14 day period (one incubation period) OR two confirmed cases (student, staff member or visitor) that are epidemiologically linked, who were present at the school while infectious and/or who most likely became infected at the school. The school will be reported as having an Alert (2-4) once there are two cases as per the above criteria.
- If additional cases arise in the school, they will be included in the investigation as long as there are not 28 days or more between subsequent cases. The investigation will be reported as follows:
- Alert (2-4): There are between 2-4 cases in the investigation
- Outbreak (5-9): There are between 5-9 cases in the investigation
- Outbreak (10+): There are 10 or more cases in the investigation
- Schools are to work collaboratively with AHS Public Health under the authority of the Zone Medical Officer of Health/designate in order to manage their alert/outbreak status and adhere to any recommendations or orders provided by the Medical Officer of Health/designate.
School staff will offer online delivery while identified students and families are required to isolate themselves and cannot do things like going to their jobs, attending lessons, or taking their driver’s license tests. Businesses that employ teenagers can also be impacted.
We are fortunate to have had minimal cases in Barrhead and other division schools during this school year. The current situation is a reminder of the need to maintain our diligence with all of the guidance offered by the province. The impact of even a single case among staff or students can quickly interupt lives of others.
We are confident in the capacity of our school staff to maintain continuity of learning through this disruption. We are also confident that the structures and protocols that we have put in place in each of our schools are working to limit the spread of infection.
If you have any questions about contact tracing and guidelines that schools follow, please consult the Alberta government website: COVID-19 info for Albertans